Brute's Bleat March 1, 2017

Dittberner with a 14.5-inch perch caught on a jigging spoon. (Photos submitted by Don Dittberner)

Fernando Songstad with his 23- inch walleye from Devils Lake.

It sounds like Devils Lake in North Dakota was the place to be recently if you like fishing walleyes and northern fishing. Six anglers, Bart and Tom Lauer, Jordon and Dominic Lauer, Ryan (Jordan’s friend) and Rick Heberling, have fished in North Dakota, but mostly on Pelican Lake for Northerns. As a group they harvested 42 walleyes off Devils Lake and 3 off Pelican, 48 Northerns off of Pelican and Devils Lake, fishing with tip-ups. Their perch came off Devils Lake. Rick said his largest northern was 10 1/2 pounds. He said Jordan had the largest walleye, 21 inches, and Bart had the largest northern, 13 lbs., and a 14- inch perch. Their walleyes ranged from 14 inches on up to 21, releasing anything under 14 inches. Rick said this year was a huge contrast weather-wise, 39 degrees compared to the -18 and -25 they fished in three years ago when their final day was still colder, near -40, too cold to fish. They had one snowmobile and two ATVs this year which they used because of the deep snow drifts and slush ice. “It was good in the morning, but the thawing made it difficult to get around later,” he said. They fished out in the open and didn’t need the clam houses they had with them.
Another angler, Don Dittberner, a new employee at the Maple Lake Messenger, was fishing Devils Lake, ND about two weeks ago with five of his buddies. They didn’t have any trouble filling out their 60 fish Walleye limit while catching some large perch (4) to-boot. Don said getting around on the lake because of snow, ice and slush was more of a problem. His group of anglers were impressed with the bite on Feb. 18-19 when they limited out on walleyes. They shared their hot spot with another group of anglers who also had great walleye angling. Don said it’s not an easy lake to fish and it takes some moving around to find a hump that sometimes turns into a hot spot. Fishing with him were Fernando, Jerry Duncan, Jared Duncan, Eric Cavi-liar, and Dewey Kasper.
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On Saturday I gave my Florida source for fresh water fishing a call (Mike Muller). He and his son Ken and his daughter Jennifer fished with Muller’s buddy, Jesse, on Okeechobe and enjoyed a good day on the lake. They kept 15 crappies and a couple of sunfish, releasing three bass and a lot of smaller crappies that didn’t measure up to their standards. Jennifer caught her share of keepers which kept Ken busy taking her fish off the hook and re-baiting. Mike, a numbers person, and Jesse figured they caught up to 70 fish that day, which was one of their better outings.
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Locally there were anglers on Maple Lake Sunday afternoon, but I wasn’t one of them, choosing instead to enjoy a walk with Anna and our setter, Vanna, on a sunny afternoon. Apparently there is enough ice for foot traffic, something I plan to investigate later this week, but with 50s predicted for the weekend I’m thinking the late-ice season will be over. Two of my brother, Charles and Marlin, and I made a trip to south-central Illinois last week to attend the funeral of our last living aunt, Mildred Brutlag, at Woodworth. It was opportunity to see some of our first cousins as well as pay our respects to a 96-year-old lady who was a prime example of patience personified. . . On the way home Wednesday we spotted one flock of migrating snow geese, and a few ducks. The freeway from Madison, WI to the Minnesota border seemed to have more than its share of road-kill deer. From the sheer numbers we decided not to drive that stretch of road during the nightime hours. We didn’t see any live deer.
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I gave Brenda the wrong name for the Waverly Clan, Fitzgerald, in last week’s Messenger, when it should have been FitzPatrick. My apologies to all of them.

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